Grade inflation is soaring: Are degrees losing all meaning?

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“First-class honours and 2.1 grades have increased significantly in most Irish universities, institutes of technology and colleges over the last ten years, an analysis by Noteworthy.ie has found. The upward trend has led academics and recruiters to warn that third-level degrees are becoming ubiquitous, with employers struggling to differentiate one first-class honours or 2.1 degree from another in their search for top talent, and extracurricular activities and work experience becoming increasingly important for students …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 13 August]

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RCSI set to get university status 235 years after it started training surgeons

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“More than 200 years after it started training surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is set to become a university following passage of reforming education legislation. The legislation increases the powers of the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) the agency which has responsibility for quality and qualifications in further and higher education …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 11 July]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 Passes both Houses of the Oireachtas

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 was today (Thursday, 11th of July) passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and will now be presented to the President for his signature. Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: ‘I am delighted to be able to say today that the Government has put in place protections for the staff and students of English language schools, with the passing of this Bill …'” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 11 July]

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Review focuses on staff workload in Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Issues relating to staff workload management and the availability of informal learning spaces have been highlighted in a review of Maynooth University by the State’s regulator for higher education qualifications. Maynooth University (MU) and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are the latest education institutions to successfully complete quality checks known as the Cinnte cycle of reviews …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 4 July]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 16th, 2019 by steve

IrelandJohn Lahart (Dublin South West, Fianna Fail): I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill relating to Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI. It is important to note one of the contexts in which this is relevant. There are only five or six countries in the world that are English speaking and the English language education market is a significant market in that regard. With the pending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in some shape or form, Ireland is the principal English language speaking destination and therefore English language education destination in the European Union …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 13 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Amendment Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 13th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): Níl éinne eile anseo. B’fhéidir go gcríochnóidh an díospóireacht níos luaithe ná mar a chríochnódh sé de ghnáth. Fianna Fáil is committed to maintaining and improving the highest standards in education. It is intended to increase the number of international students and the number of students entering higher education in this country is increasing all the time. It is vital, therefore, that these students are supported by a high quality education system …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 12 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Second Stage

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 12th, 2019 by steve

IrelandMary Mitchell O’Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael): I move: ‘That the Bill be now read a Second Time’. I am pleased to bring the Bill before the House. It will amend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, which established Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI, the national agency with responsibility for external quality assurance and qualifications across the further and higher education sectors …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 11 June]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 23rd, 2019 by steve

IrelandGerry Horkan (Fianna Fail): I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Mitchell O’Connor. I remind Senators that they may speak only once on Report Stage, except the proposer of an amendment, who may reply to discussion on the amendment. Each non-Government amendment must be seconded. Amendment No 1 is a Government amendment and arises out of committee proceedings. The amendment is consequential on amendment No 32. Amendments Nos 1 and 32 are related and may be discussed together by agreement. Is that agreed? Agreed …” (more)

[Seanad debates, 22 May]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 completes Report Stage in Seanad Éireann

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“RCSI recognition as a university, English Language College regulation, Learner and teacher protection amendments all welcomed by Minister. Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today (22 May 2019) welcomed the completion of Report Stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Seanad Éireann …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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Minister launches results of National Employer Survey 2018

Posted in Research on January 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD today launched the National Employer Survey 2018. The survey, completed in Q2 2018, has shown that employers are very satisfied with graduate recruits across a range of personal and workplace attributes, including computer and technical literacy, working effectively with others and numeracy/processing numerical data …” (more, download)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 23 January]

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Staff protest over ‘grade inflation’ at institute of technology

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Lecturers at Institute of Technology Tralee are refusing to attend exam and course meetings after an exam board at the college overturned a lecturer’s marks for every student in his class. The industrial action, which was voted for by 65% of the members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland at IT Tralee, has raised concerns about academic standards at the college …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Revealed: the universities most likely to award higher grades

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Which university offers the best shot of a first-class or 2.1 degree? Is there much difference between University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin? The Irish Times has used a mix of Freedom of Information requests and statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to crunch the numbers. The analysis shows grades at Ireland’s seven universities have been rising consistently over the past decade …” (more)

[Peter McGuire and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Staff unpaid as fears rise over college’s fate

Posted in Governance and administration on December 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Up to 28 staff at a language school have not been paid amid fears it has closed down. The union representing some of the teachers at Grafton College in Portobello, Dublin appealed to the Department of Education to step in and ‘not to wash its hands of this’ just weeks before Christmas …” (more)

[Laura Lynott, Independent, 3 December]

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Third Level Quality Assurance Compliance

Posted in Governance and administration on October 18th, 2018 by steve

IrelandBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which third level education requires ongoing assessment and updating in line with best practice internationally in order to ensure the ability of graduates to compete internationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 October]

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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 completes second stage in Seanad Éireann

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the completion of second stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Seanad Éireann. This Bill will amend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 which established Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the national agency with responsibility for external quality assurance and qualifications across the further and higher education sectors …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 10 October]

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Quality of third-level courses ‘at risk’ due to funding shortages

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 2nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority has warned that the quality of third-level courses is at risk due to a deterioration in staff-student ratios in colleges. Its comments come in the same week it emerged that dozens of third-level students at NUI Galway were refunded fees for a course on foot of quality concerns …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 August]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces the publication of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 22nd, 2018 by steve

“The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today announced that the Government has approved publication of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training)(Amendment) Bill. Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the Government decision noting that ‘This is a key piece of legislation that will further empower QQI as a regulator of quality and will strengthen the agency’s role in ensuring high standards across Ireland’s Higher and Further Education sectors’ …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 21 July]

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NUIG Access Centre introduces 150 new undergraduate places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) Access Centre has introduced 170 new full-time places for undergraduate students entering from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), Further Education and Training (FET), and Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) routes …” (more)

[Aoife Ní Chadhain, Trinity News, 18 January]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches two QQI reports to enhance quality in Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration on December 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Mary Mitchell O Connor, TD, Minister for Higher Education, today launched two reports by the national regulator for quality in Further and Higher Education: Quality within higher education which is a summary report of the quality assurance and quality enhancement activities in publicly funded higher education institutions pertaining to the previous academic year; and Professional Body Accreditation in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland which was commissioned by QQI to establish a clearer picture of the professional accreditation landscape in Ireland …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 13 December]

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Committee calls for grants to be made available at private colleges

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Hundreds of students from less well-off families who attend private third-level colleges in Ireland should be entitled to grants, an Oireachtas committee has recommended. Unlike the rest of the higher education sector, students at private colleges – such as Griffith College and Dublin Business School – are not entitled to grant support, even though these courses are approved by the State’s education quality watchdog, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 October]

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